Early last month I reviewed the Acer Predator Z35P
Before I go in to the bones of things please head on over to JustGiving and if you can donate a little to the cause im sure it will be gratefully received. The Acer Team along with Agent 42 staff and some tech reviewers took part in a jurrasic coast challange to raise money for the British Heart Foundation.
If you follow my YouTube Channel (lets face it you really should!), then you will have sen that one of my very first videos was covering the Acer Predator Z35. It was my first taste at ultra wide and I liked! When I saw that Acer had updated the Z35 and P’d on it I had to see if it had improved on what was already a very nice monitor.
I contacted Acer and was incredibly surprised when they agreed to send me the Z35P for review and to them I am very grateful for the opportunity. The only real issue I had, was that I only had it for 5 days 3 of which I was working so had to take every chance I had to fire it up and put it through its paces.
Visually the monitor itself is identical to the original Z35 however they changed the stand out for the same as the X34A which for me is a vast improvement. The new stand is far classier and less flash than the original but it does make hiding cables harder and the stand does have a huge foot print so you will need a decent size desk.
In terms of the specs the Z35P has made some significant changes over the Z35. The biggest and best for me is that they changed the resolution from 2560×1080 to 3440×1440. This meant far less distortion to icons and UI’s etc. Next is the fact the refresh rate had been dropped from 200hz with overclock to 120hz with overclock. I really enjoyed the high refresh of the Z35 but boy did that panel whack out some heat when overclocked! I can imagine that if the new 1440 display was capable of 200hz you would be gaming in your pants with an ice pack on drinking gallons of water to stay hydrated!
They both have a 4ms response time thanks to the AMVA panel and equal brightness of 300nits.
Round the back of the monitor you get 4x USB 3 ports (Type A) as well as 1 USB 3 (Type B) and in terms of input options you have a 3.5mm audio input/output, 1x DisplayPort 1.2 and HDMI 1.4. Power is delivered by an external power brick.
Actually using the monitor was for the most part very nice indeed. It has much improved contrast ratio over its older brother and tearing in-game is resolved with G-Sync (as was with the Z35) however what I did experience in-game was some serious ghosting. So much so that it rendered PUBG unplayable. As a result I went back in to the OS menu and dug in to the overdrive seeing it was set to extreme turned it off and tried again. The ghosting was way less but input lag now suffered so set it to normal. This made both levels tolerable but is my biggest gripe with the monitor. When even my wife notices the ghosting and asks why things look weird you know something is wrong!
Playing around with the colour setting I found that they were a little washed until I set it to sRGB mode. When I did that I thought the colour was very nice and pretty close to IPS standard.
I found that there was some black light bleed as well as a couple of bloom spots which I incorrectly refered to as IPS Glow! As I didn’t have the monitor for long I didnt have much time to figure out what the issue was. I read a number of other reviews that also refered to the panel having IPS Glow. Since releasing the video and returning the video a number of people have pointed out that it cannot be IPS Glow. That in the video was a slip of the tongue but there was some bloom which looked similar to it. I have come to the conclusion that it must have been clouding due to a damaged panel. The sample I received had done the rounds with other reviewers and could easily have been damaged in transit. Truth is I doubt I will ever know for sure what the cause was.
What I really love about the curved ultra wide panels is the level of immersion you get with that huge wrap around panoramic feeling. When you are in-game you really do get an advantage with the extra view on-screen (couple of extra inches makes all the difference!).
When it comes to using it for everyday tasks like browsing the net or working again the extra space you get with the monitor makes it really easy to have multiple applications up and in view hugely increasing productivity.
Overall my experience was a bit of a mixed one. I love the extra space, the colours and the immersion level but the ghosting Vs input lag battle was not something I enjoyed.
Me personally I think I would go for the Acer X34A or wait to see what the X35 brings that’s if you have the funds to do so!